aboard

Author Topic: Leaking Head Gaskets  (Read 440 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

motoguzzibill

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 0
on: October 24, 2018, 09:32:37 pm
Took a very nice fall ride this afternoon on my 07' Electra, but the one disappointment is a leaking head gasket. This past spring I took pains to replace the gasket, being careful to level the head with emery cloth/glass plate and spray the head gasket with Permatex copper head gasket adhesive. Leaking again.

I mentioned to a former dealer of Enfields that I had a leaking head gasket and he smiled and replied "oh really".  Makes me wonder if this is a common malady with Electras. Anybody else in this club?

So did I use an inferior replacement gasket? If so what brand will do the job right? Makes me wonder if a copper head gasket might work better, much like those used on the older Triumphs. Couldn't be that difficult to have one lazer cut out of copper sheet. Maybe just expensive compared to what we buy from India.

So I'm looking for ideas and help with this nagging issue. Winter will be here soon might be the time to try again.
TIA,
Bill



Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 07:57:47 am
Using stock RE India gaskets and a smear of Wellseal, re-tightening the head nuts after a settling-in period usually works fine for me.

You mentioned truing the head joint face with glass plate and emery, what about the joint face on the top of the barrel?

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


tooseevee

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,681
  • Karma: 0
  • There Are No Truths Outside The Gates Of Eden
Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 08:37:23 am


You mentioned truing the head joint face with glass plate and emery, what about the joint face on the top of the barrel?

A.

           I was gonna mention that, but I waited for you. You have more gravitas than I.

           If you don't pay attention to that shoulder (the Brits call it the spigot?) and it bottoms out BEFORE the gasket gets properly squished by the torque, you can have a weepy leak there that is not the gasket's fault.

      Ace (as others also have) has explained this many times over the years.
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,038
  • Karma: 2
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 01:41:52 pm
motoguzzibill
Don't bother trying to make a head gasket out of a sheet of copper.

All of the "copper" head gaskets I'm familiar with are basically very thin copper sheets with a soft, compressible sheet of material between them.

This soft material is needed to take up the tolerances and variations between the surfaces on the head and the cylinder.

A "gasket" made out of pure copper would have almost no compressibility so while it would work as a spacer, it would not seal the joint well.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 03:03:31 pm
Solid copper gaskets worked fine on my BSA C15 and B40 singles. The trick was to anneal them before use (or re-use).

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


motoguzzibill

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 0
Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 03:40:24 pm
Appreciate the input of all. I did not work the barrel end of the connection. But I will the next time. How hard should I work the barrel end? Just get it even or work it down a bit?

On another issue anyone figure a fix to take the vibration/rattling out of the rear brake pedal shaft?
TIA
Bill


heloego

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,010
  • Karma: 0
Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 06:30:38 pm
   Is the Brake Pedal bolt tight?
   If it's the Brake Spindle causing the rattle it could be the Spindle itself is worn and needs to be replaced.
   The only way to find out is to remove it and look for wear where on the surfaces that fit inside the frame boss.
   If the Spindle is not the culprit, the boss may be worn, or a missing Plain Washer between the Spindle and the Brake Pedal causing the Spindle to shift sideways from vibration.
   I hope the Boss isn't worn. That could get time consuming to repair.


'18 Bonneville T-100, Blue/White
'12 C5 Classic
'06 Electra X AVL w/32mm Mikuni and Gold Star system.


motoguzzibill

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 0
Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 09:28:04 am
With 2600 miles on the bike I don't believe anything is worn out and having checked nothing is loose. I think the problem results from shoddy engineering /construction. Design with a few bushings could have made a difference. Perhaps a few spring washers to create more tension will help. I do wear earplugs which also helps!

I believe the truth is these bikes were designed and assembled with questionable quality. I enjoy tinkering with mine and always trying to improve it's weaknesses and squeeze a bit more out of the motor. But I do wonder if a "big bang" lies in the future despite my efforts.

There is always the thought to cash in my chips while still ahead.
Bill


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 03:21:41 pm
The three main weak spots in the 500 AVLs are sprag clutch (starter), big-end and tappets. The fixes are well known, and you can always fit them BEFORE the original bits fail so that your bike WON'T fail if you're keeping it long term.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


tooseevee

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,681
  • Karma: 0
  • There Are No Truths Outside The Gates Of Eden
Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 07:01:38 am
The three main weak spots in the 500 AVLs are sprag clutch (starter), big-end and tappets.
A.

      By tappets do you mean the lifters or the push rod adjusters?

      And if so, what replacements are recommended?   

      PS: I have not had a sprag kickback (starting OR shutting down) since switching to the Champion plug.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 07:06:46 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 08:02:59 am
The cam followers.



For same insane reason the original Bullet design was slimmed down from ⅜" to 7mm and a previously fine component was replaced by something more fragile.

The fix is to fit a set of iron barrel cam followers, though the outside of the guides need turning down to fit the smaller diameter holes in the AVL crankcases. You also need to modify a set of iron barrel Bullet push rods to take the AVL push rod tops.

Here's an AVL timing side crankcase half modified for me by Bullet Whisperer, also note the adjustable cam spindles have been replaced by plain spindles. Not essential, but this is one thing less to adjust or worry about coming undone, but needs a ⅝" reamer putting to the cam spindle holes in the timing cover.



The oil sight glass tube is an attempt to get away from dip-stick roulette...

For what it's worth the crankshaft I'm using on this one has been rebuilt with a UK-made big end pin and sleeved con-rod, and there will be no electric start to worry about. I will be putting a Champion plug in it, though.  ;D

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...